USGS - science for a changing world

Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center

  Home About NPWRC Our Science Staff Employment Contacts Common Questions About the Site

Wetland Plants and Plant Communities of Minnesota and Wisconsin

OSTRICH FERN

(Matteuccia struthiopteris L.)


Ostrich fern

SENSITIVE FERN FAMILY (Onocleaceae)

IND. STATUS: FACW

FIELD CHARACTERISTICS: A clonal, perennial fern with erect, coarse, stout leafy crowns growing to a height of 0.5-2(3)m. The fronds are of two types, The sterile fronds are green and pinnate-pinnatifid with a fine pubescence along the rachis, particularly in the spring. The alternate pinnae are gradually reduced toward the base of the frond. The fertile frond is shorter than the sterile frond, brown at maturity, and has inrolled pinnae which enclose the sporangia. The fertile fronds are produced between midsummer and early fall and persist through the winter. The black rhizomes are large and stoloniferous.

ECOLOGICAL NOTES: Ostrich fern is a circumboreal species of swamps, floodplain hardwoods, and shady moist woods and thickets. It is often found growing on alluvial deposits. This species typically occurs north of the tension zone.

SOURCE: Gleason and Cronquist (1991) and Tryon (1980).


Previous Section -- Quaking Aspen (Populus tremuloides Michx.)
Return to Contents
Next Section -- Skunk Cabbage (Symplocarpus foetidus (L.) Nutt.)

Accessibility FOIA Privacy Policies and Notices

Take Pride in America logo USA.gov logo U.S. Department of the Interior | U.S. Geological Survey
URL: http://www.npwrc.usgs.gov/resource/plants/mnplant/mast.htm
Page Contact Information: Webmaster
Page Last Modified: Saturday, 02-Feb-2013 06:32:09 EST
Sioux Falls, SD [sdww55]